Q&A: BBC World Service director Peter Horrocks on social media and news | Media | guardian.co.uk
How important is social media to covering news?
“I think today social media is very important as a journalistic source. It provides journalists with a wider range of opinion, and gives them access to a whole range of voices. Also it is an enhancement to our service as it is a way of distributing content effectively. Today content is passed on in social media by the audience, and that has real credibility. So social media is a further weapon in our armoury.”
What examples come to your mind where social media improved BBC reporting?
“Classic examples are situations where it is hard to report from. In northern Nigeria, for example, we are using mobile phones which we provided to villages. In each village there is one person who is known as ‘the keeper of the mobile’. This was a way we learnt about a government confrontation with a village about land rights. We looked into that story, and used BBC journalistic rigours to covered that story. Here we simply use social media applying what always has made the BBC World Service strong: holding goverments accountable using this news technique. The ‘how’ is changing, and not so much the ‘what’.”
~ by Gary Austin on February 11, 2010.